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It is always a struggle
Posted: Monday, November 4, 2019 6:45 PM
Joined: 5/9/2018
Posts: 87

I had to get Mom into a MC facility about a year ago.  We went through the process where she didn't like it, wanted to go home because she has a house, all the stuff that comes with movement to this type of care.  It settled down - she wasn't cheerful about it but calmer.  Now it is starting up again.  I get calls get me out of this dump (well she really referred to it as a sh*t hole), wait until your husband puts you away, you better not sell my house and if you do and get the money, I hope you die (that is the one that hurt the most).  She can't do steps and when she first stayed with us for 3 months, she kept trying to walk away, one trip resulted in a fall down into the woods.  She became extremely aggressive when she was with us and I had to have her transported to a geriatric behavior center for 20 days.  From there, she was transported to where she is now.  I looked at several places and this was something where she would have her own "apartment" complete with a kitchen (no stove).  She wouldn't have to share and it wasn't just a bed in a room (which I found a lot of).  It is pricey but I have power of attorney and am using her money for her care (I have more money than her - I don't need hers).  So here we are and she is back to wanting to go back home again.  I can't talk with her since she immediately begins screaming at me.  There is a doctor's order for 2 Atavan a day as needed and recently she has been given one in the early evening (since we think Sundowners is kicking in).  Today I went to visit and she through me out of her room (today was the die comment).  I left since nothing I would have said to her would work.  I was there yesterday and she was sleeping the entire time I was there.  I got a call from her tonight with more of the same yelling/screaming.  I know she has vascular dementia (several weeks ago she began yelling at me because she was looking for her parents who passed years ago and when I said they had passed, she immediately began asking me what was wrong with me that I didn't let her know they had passed).  I know she can't help it but I am so drained of being the bad guy.  Thanks for listening.
Posted: Monday, November 4, 2019 8:18 PM
Joined: 5/16/2017
Posts: 595

I only talked to my mother when I called her.  If you cannot limit her access to a phone, I would not take her calls.  If there is an emergency, the facility will call.   Allowing her to call is upsetting you + agitating her, solving nothing.
Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 5:48 AM
Joined: 5/9/2018
Posts: 87

I made sure she had a phone because I have a special needs sister and the staff would dial Mom in the evening so my sister and her could talk (not sure if they are still doing that and need to check).  The only # my Mom has is my cell and there are times when I do not answer.  I didn't give her other #s because sometimes she calls and forgets and calls back again.  If anyone wants to call her, I make sure they have her #.  My Mom didn't have a huge network of friends and our family is not that big so calls to her are few.  I appreciate your advice.


Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 8:31 AM
Joined: 3/25/2015
Posts: 672

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. Does she need the Ativan on a regular basis? Other medications? This behavior is disturbing for you and reflects anxiety and anger on her part. Perhaps consulting with her dr. will result in trying some additional medications, and finding something that works. Until her anger toward you subsides, if it were me, I would greatly limit my visits and also her phone calls. You can check on her without physically visiting her: you can go to the facility and observe from a distance and speak with staff. That way you'll have an idea what's going on. I wonder if her anger and anxiety are all the time, or only directed at you? What an awful situation! I feel for you. And today, on the 2nd anniversary of my mother's passing from dementia, I thank the Lord that my mom was not hateful and angry; caregiving was still a tough job but at least Mom was kind and good natured, 99% of the time.
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 6:40 AM
Joined: 6/24/2012
Posts: 546

So sorry that you are the 'bad guy'.  I am that for my mother.  I moved her this summer to MC and to be honest, she has lost the ability to use the phone though it is still in her room. But long before that I just did not pick up.  I have also hung up on her.  Know that if there is something important, the staff will call you.  This is terribly hard to do to your own mother and it is heart wrenching. 

I do check her voice mails and they are all spam.  Recently I disconnected the actual phone (service is still on) because she remembers her SSN and could give it out to a spammer.  

After moving mom I met one of the aids in the grocery store one day and told her that I do not visit mom often because she gets upset because she wants to leave.  The aid responded... "they all want to leave.  It's so normal for them to want to leave and they can't help it."  Though it did not make me feel better at the time, I realized that she was helping me to see that I can't control this for mom.  And the aid added, "When they come behind those doors there is a reason and they need the care we give them here."  And that did help.  

Give yourself a break and understand that you can't 'fix' this one.  

Eric L
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 10:12 AM
Joined: 12/5/2014
Posts: 1288

Is there a way that you can change your approach with Mom? If she asks about going home, tell her that there is something wrong with the house. Or that the doctor would like for her to stay there a little longer so she can build up her strength. It might work to be "on her side" and tell her that you will call that contractor (or doctor) first thing in the morning to straighten things out.

Also, it probably isn't a good idea to tell her the truth about your grandparents. You might need to send them on a trip where they don't have access to the phone. You can tell Mom that they did check in yesterday and that they wanted to let everyone know that they were having a great time and will see everyone soon.

Alot of folks around here say "well, that will never work with my LO because they are still so with it" or whatever. Most folks with dementia (especially when they get to the point that they forget relatives have passed) have almost no short term memory. It's awful of course, but it also gives you the chance to try multiple approaches. She might not believe you about repairs to the house, but the doctor approach might work. The "trip approach" with her parents might not work, but telling her that grandma and grandpa are playing bridge tonight (or whatever activity that they may have participated in) and aren't home to accept phone calls right now but you'll call them in the morning to check in on them may work.

I would certainly not take her phone calls and it might be time to disappear her phone. If she starts on in you when you are speaking, find an excuse to get off the phone and hang up on her. Many people on here block their LOs numbers when things get bad and "unblock" them when they are ready to talk again.
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 8:29 PM
Joined: 5/9/2018
Posts: 87

I am starting to put some of the suggestions made into play.  Tonight she called and said she is trying to reach her brother for help with moving some furniture back home.  I said okay and we'll talk tomorrow.  Did this last night when she called and asked if I would pick her up today. Mentioned I was coming for a visit today and we would talk about it then.  I did go and visit and not a peep out of wanting to leave the place.  I guess I just need to keep some things "in the tool box" for when those types of questions come up.  Today she also said to me "did my parents pass away?"  I said yes but mentioned that she has her mother's hands and her father's temper (and she actually laughed at that).  It is a day by day thing and I guess that is how a lot of us have to take it who have loved ones with dementia.  Thanks to all of you.
Posted: Friday, November 8, 2019 2:48 PM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 1091

I agree that having prepared comments on hand can be helpful.  If my LO had a problem, but, couldn't really say what it was, I would tell her that I had already solved it, the paperwork was in the mail, phone call made, things were in the works, etc.  That brought her much relief and we could celebrate with her favorite snacks.  She was so relieved, of course, this must be repeated as needed. 

But, if she were very distraught, crying, yelling, as you describe, I'd have her evaluated by her doctor or a geriatric psychiatrist for anxiety, depression, etc.  Sometimes medication can really help with that and can bring relief from mental anguish.  It has to be painful for them to be that irritated. My LO would cry and worry a lot and the daily meds were very helpful and brought her a lot of contentment.  Xanax, Ativan, etc.  really didn't do much for her, but, another med did. 

Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 2:08 AM
Joined: 11/11/2019
Posts: 1

Thanks so much for this response. I’m dealing with an angry mother also and although I’m trying to make sure she has the best care .. I feel cruel not visiting but last visit she tried to choke me.
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